The last thing the Mariners needed to start the second half was a 3-2, 16-inning, bullpen-burning, walk-off loss to an AL West rival. But that was their fate Friday night in Anaheim, a result sealed when pinch hitter Efren Navarro, in his 56th career at-bat, singled home Mike Trout with the winning run with the first pitch he saw from reliever Dominic Leone.
The Mariners went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded 14, but the most negative statistical takeaway was the fact that this was the first contest in franchise history – 5,965 games covering 37 ½ seasons – that featured two Seattle batters going 0-for-7.
In addition to striking out three times (all swinging), All-Star third baseman Kyle Seager hit three ground-ball outs and lined out to second. Zunino fanned once, popped out twice, hit three ground outs and fouled out once. Seager lost six points on his batting average, falling from .279 to .273, and Zunino dropped five points from .206 to a Mario Mendoza-ish .201.
It could have been worse for Seager. He missed by one whiff of matching the franchise record for most times striking out in an 0-for-7 clinker. Both Michael Saunders (Aug. 7, 2012) and Nick Franklin (July 31, 2013) fanned four times while going 0-for-7.
Seager and Zunino also just missed matching the franchise record for the biggest single-game O-fer. Manny Castillo (April 11, 1982) and Jesus Montero (Sept. 18, 2012), both posted 0-for-8s.
The following are the only players in Mariners history to go 0-for-7 or worse without once reaching base, such as on a walk or hit by pitch.
|1982||April 11||Manny Castillo||3B||Athletics||0-for-8, 2 strikeouts|
|2012||Sept. 18||Jesus Montero||DH||Orioles||0-for-8, 2 strikeouts|
|1991||May 5||Pete O’Brien||1B||Yankees||0-for-7, 0 strikeouts|
|1992||Sept. 25||Bret Boone||2B||Rangers||0-for-7, 2 strikeouts|
|1996||Aug. 18||Doug Strange||3B||Yankees||0-for-7, 2 strikeouts|
|2012||Aug. 7||Michael Saunders||CF||Orioles||0-for-7, 4 strikeouts|
|2013||July 31||Nick Franklin||2B||Red Sox||0-for-7, 4 strikeouts|
|2014||July 18||Kyle Seager||3B||Angels||0-for-7, 3 strikeouts|
|2014||July 18||Mike Zunino||C||Angels||0-for-7, 1 strikeout|
The Mariners have sustained five walk-off losses this season (club record 13 last year), but will have Felix Hernandez (11-2, 2.12) on the mound Saturday night to face Garrett Richards (11-2, 2.55). Hernandez has recorded a club-record 11 consecutive starts allowing two or fewer earned runs in at least seven innings. This is the longest such streak in the American League since Gaylord Perry in 1974. Richards has a 1.27 ERA since June 1, and the Angels have won the last eight games he has pitched. He beat the Mariners 2-0 April 9.